Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Catching the Rug Making Bug




I finished making this rug last night and I think I can safely say I won't be making anymore rugs for the rest of the year.  I decided to make another rug after I found a bag of 2" strips that I had die-cut in anticipation of a rug along and got tired of the bag sitting on a chair in my studio, okay, my dogs wanted the bag off their sitting chair.  I thought this would be something I could do while watching the Cubs during the World Series and on Game 1, I set up the rug loom and after ten minutes I realized that there was no way I could weave while watching the game or any other game so I put this away until last week after the Championship was well secured.

Thanks to Mary Etherington, Country Threads, I caught the rug making bug at the start of this year when Mary started a rug along in January which I was anxious to do since my rug loom was made over 10 years ago by my hubby but never put to use because I was hung up on how the strips were connected.



Thankfully, I found my answer in Mary's book, DVD and YouTube videos.  (Mary's book & DVD is still available to purchase by sending a $20 check to Mary Etherington, 2345 Palm Ave., Garner, IA 50438.) Once my Quilt Goddaughter, Lauren help me put the twining on the loom I was ready to go.


I absolutely love making rugs,  It's a great way to use up the old stash of fabrics, especially the homespuns bought on clearance, which I once calculated uses at least ten yards of fabric.  Since I have a die cutter, 2" strips can be cut in no time. Weaving is very relaxing and something that can be done while watching TV and for me it's very portable, I can weave anywhere in the house but, unfortunately, Sophie is very put out by my rug weaving since she thinks my hands would be put to better use by holding and loving her.


Here's the first rug made from my yardage of pink and purple plaid homespun along with other bright homespuns.  It's such a great feeling to finally make something from fabric that's been sitting in the stash for a useful purpose.  A nice thing about rug making is that once the last strip is woven, you are finish once it's taken off the loom and the loose ends are tied up.  This rugs did sit in front of the patio door in my family room not quite matching the colors of maroon and navy and the dogs love laying on it; Sophie not as much.


Soon after, I made another one in Denver Bronco colors before they won the Super Bowl using my stash of blue, orange and red homespuns but regular cotton was used for the twining--a great way to use up that stash.

Rugmaking is not quick, especially the 24"x36" size.  It takes approx. 40 hours to make one and when I make a rug it takes over the dining room with all the supplies and equipment I use, i.e., rug loom, fabric strips laying on the table, stool, easel, etc.  So once I'm done, everything is put away, threads pick up off the floor and the dining room is once again ready for the once-a-year company.


I wanted to make rugs in other sizes so I found a store online, Our Old Country Store in Dell, AR, Our Old Country Store, where I purchased two frames, one mug rug size and one table runner size.  They're very reasonably priced and well made according to hubby who was thankful that he didn't have to make them, but delivery charges are somewhat expensive.  I'm really eyeing the bigger frames, especially the adjustable size one.


Here is the table runner which measures approx. 18"X26" and lays on the family room ottoman.



The mug rugs measure 6-1/2" x 8-1/2" and I made over a dozen of these in homespun, batiks and cotton.  For these, the strips were die-cut 1.5" and can be made pretty quick, less than 2 hours, and especially portable for making while on vacation. I've made these for around the kitchen and around the house and also gifted several of them.

So now, rug making days are over until next year and my latest rug is laying happily in the family room, fitting very nicely with the decor. The pink rug is now laying in the dog crate which almost is the right size, just a little bit too wide.  F.Y.I., Sophie never is in the dog crate.

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